Monday, March 29, 2010

Head. Desk. Okay!

I've been really tired lately. If you leave me alone for a few minutes, I'll likely doze off; and I take the opportunities to do so whenever they come. Therefore, putting head to desk on an arm-shaped pillow in class has become what is described as my "default position."

There are typically three things that can rouse my from my reverie:
  1. The name "Andy" called by one of my friends (50% effective)
  2. The lecturer, who has begun to speak (90% effective)
  3. The buzz buzz of my phone to Sandlot's texting (100% effective)
Because the classroom is a typically safe environment, I tend to dispense my corrective lenses and mobile phone on the desk beside my head - sparing these items from the rigorous clutching to which I subject my knapsack when I sleep on the subway.

Today, I learned a valuable lesson: pocket your phone and keep one finger on your glasses.

I arrived earlier than usual - the second one in the classroom. Because the first lecture was a review session, class attendance was set to max out at thirty percent at best. Empty desks all around me left fewer friendlies to watch my back, although in the absence of Mello and Yubin, many of my friends probably would have just played along anyways.

I initiated my usual ritual: Shed phone and glasses, put arm on desk, put head on arm. Okay!

I looked up several times to the buzz buzz of my phone in order to reply to Sandlot's morning texts (a custom of ours to bring a little cheer to a cloudy morn). On my third head-desk, I waited for the familiar buzz as my mind turned to semi-lucid dreams. When I finally raised my head to the sounds of a soon-to-begin lecture, my glasses and mobile were nowhere to be found.

I turned to Ragù, the classmate beside me. "Very funny," I offered drowsily, holding back my indignation. There's something distinctly undignified about trying to solicit your belongings back in a half-awake, half-blind state. Denial was all I got back.

It's a murder mystery. Who stole my glasses? Who stole my phone? I have my suspicions:

Suspect #1: Kushima

Reasons: He and his girlfriend, sitting diagonally behind me, were caught snickering whilst I was trying to find my glasses and my phone. It's possible that they may have merely observed the deed. The items were allegedly recovered from their desk, one row behind my own.

Suspect #2: Stewie

Reasons: Stewie was seated three chairs to my left. He could potentially have lifted said items on the way to his seat, since he had not yet arrived when I put my head to desk. Stewie is also a shit disturber.

Suspect #3: Ragù

Reasons: Ragù was seated one chair to my right and was thus the only suspect who was within arms reach of the stolen items. He was also the person who allegedly "found" them on the desk behind us. Ragù also not-so-secretly covets my beautiful, charming, and wonderful girlfriend Sandlot and likely begrudges our lively textual relationship. If you are reading this: that's slightly creepy.

Don't worry potential-felons - next time, I'll be watching.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let me be your doctor, baby

Ever since Sandlot and I went K, I've had Enrique's Hero stuck in my head. Coming off Pain Week, our multidisciplinary week of education on pain management, I composed this little ditty.

To the tune of Enrique Iglasias' Hero.

Let me be your doctor

Would you cough, if I asked you to cough?
Would you sit as I took your pulse?
Would you cry, if you saw a needle?
And will you ask for drugs, tonight?

Would you grimace, if I palpate your hips?
Is it mets? Oh please tell me this
You say you’d die, for the pain is tough?
Not on my watch, not tonight

I can be your doctor, baby
I’ll prescribe away the pain
Climb the analgesic ladder
Percs can take your hurt away

Would you swear, you’ll take your meds on time?
Or would you lie? Sell narcs on the side?
Have I been deceived? Should I not prescribe?
I’m not your dealer, not tonight

I can be your doctor, baby
I’ll prescribe away the pain
If you’re really just an addict
I will take your script away

Oh, I just wanna help you
I just wanna help you, oh yeah
Hurts to touch the sheets? It hurts all the time?
It’s neuropathic pain, tonight

I can be your doctor, baby
I’ll prescribe away the pain
I will treat your allodynia
This time with a T-C-A

I can be your doctor, baby
I’ll prescribe away the pain
Climb the analgesic ladder
Percs can take your hurt away
Percs can take your hurt away
An’ I can be your doctor

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Parking, She Wrote

Over March Break, I headed down to Awesome U to visit my girlfriend Sandlot. Sandlot lives in a suite-style apartment building we'll call Sandy Hall. Sandy Hall is adjacent to a number of other residences including Frosh Hall, an infamously rowdy undergraduate residence.

Now I drove up to Awesome U for the week, so Sandlot kindly secured me a visitor's parking pass. It stipulated a number of eligible parking places including Sandy Lot (for Sandy Hall), Rocky Lot (for Rocky Hall), and Muddy Lot (for Muddy Hall). We weren't exactly sure where Sandy Lot was, but I had parked just outside Sandy Hall.

"Is this the right parking lot?" we quizzically considered. There was no signage identifying the lot - only one that read, "Grey passes only." I looked at my parking pass. It was purple. What was a Grey pass? Still, we considered, our pass said Sandy Lot. In front of us was Sandy Hall. Done.

The next day I woke up to be greeted by a big fat $35 parking ticket. Under "location issued" it read, "Frosh Perimeter Lot." So apparently I had been in a parking lot for residents of Frosh Hall, not Sandy Hall. Could I be faulted that the parking lot was right between the two, without any signs that actually identified it as the "Frosh Perimeter Lot"?

After driving around a bit, I located Sandy Lot on the other side of the building. Actually, this lot did not have a sign that identified it as "Sandy Lot" either, but rather a parking rate sign that said "Sandy Hall." I know this is small beef, but your parking lots should a) be labeled and b) match the labeling on your parking passes.

In any case, Sandlot and I went to the parking office to pay the fine. However, I thought the entire ticketing was rather unreasonable. When we got there, I asked if there was any way that we could complain, and we were provided with an appeals form. We filled it out.

Here's the gist of what we wrote:

"We obtained a visitor's parking pass for Sandy Lot, and parked in a lot outside Sandy Hall. We received a ticket which identified the lot as Frosh Perimeter Lot, however there was no signage identifying it as so. Our parking in the incorrect location was enacted out of confusion rather than a deliberate attempt to disregard the rules. The vehicle has subsequently been moved to the correct lot."

Today, I received the following text from Sandlot:

The judgment decision was "signs are posted and are clear." Clearly not.

Oh, Parking Authority, thou art condescending little buggers. Clear signs, my dears, would be signs that read "Frosh Perimeter Lot" and "Sandy Lot." Kthx.

At least the news isn't all bad: they reduced the fine to $12.

That's still enough for two bowls of udon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What a sniff disturber

I mentioned in my most recent post that I've spent the last very precious week with my girlfriend, Sandlot. While away, I've taken to using a D&G Pour Homme bath/shower gel that came in a gift set I received some time ago (bath/shower gel, cologne, and aftershave). Packing my own body wash was key in order to ensure I can travel the world smelling like a man and not like peaches 'n stuff. Apparently, D&G makes some powerful stuff because the rest of the week played out something like an Axe commercial.

What happens when your girlfriend who thinks you smell as good as two tickets to the thing she loves (re: Old Spice) rips your computer out of your hands and fiddles with all your already-logged-in Internet accounts? Irreparable damage to your reputation, apparently.

Here's my Twitter feed from March 17th. Yes, these are all posted on my account - it's like a schizophrenic conversation. Then came Pomme's reaction (one of my few IRL Twitter followers):

My bad. No wait, it's not my bad - it's Sandlot's bad. My only bad is smelling outrageously good.

Then came this new box, conspicuously appearing on my Facebook page. Admittedly, only Facebook creepers who actually check my page (and not just the News Feed) would notice it. Incredibly, that only took a few minutes.

Oh dear. So, let's set the record straight here - I don't sniff myself. Sandlot is a shit sniff disturber. I'm on a horse. 2/3 of those statements are true.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The future is Move-ing

Sorry the blog pickings have been kind of scanty this week - I've been enjoying a rare and precious week off school and logging also rare and precious quality time with my lovely girlfriend Sandlot.

You may recall my recent excitement over Sony's upcoming motion controller, the PlayStation Move. This excitement has further been compounded by Sony's tongue in cheek advertisement for said motion peripheral, not so subtly bashing on Nintendo's at times finicky Wiimote (and always ridiculous Wii Boxing) as well as Microsoft's upcoming controller-free motion control system, Project Natal.

While my jury's still out on whether the XBox360 or PlayStation 3 represent my gaming future, I'm always happy to see Sony fighting back with marketing that doesn't suck.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

That's a Lo blow

You may remember the Clue debacle from a few days ago, where I made a funny about one Dr. Mustard which almost nobody understood. Today, I gave it another go at the expense of one Dr. Lo:

Andy > Mello, Yubin, J-Rock: Lecturer joke of the day: Shawty got lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo

Yubin > Andy: Omg I was thinking the same thing!!!!!!

Andy > Yubin: You are the best. You always appreciate my jokes...!

Yubin > Andy: Great minds think alike! Woo woo

As with the Clue quip, slow texter J-Rock reacted in person, rather than via SMS, turning to me with an exasperated grin and shaking his head. Mello didn't notice the message until an hour later when she turned to me and said, "What? I don't get it." (Typical) After a brief pause, her eyes lit up as she pointed to our lecture notes, "Wait, is it him? HAH! HA HA HA HA!"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

HD Wii gaming

...comes to the Playstation 3.

High-definition precision sword battles? J-Rock, you're going down.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We are everywhere

Some of you may remember my quest to prove to Sandlot - who made the audacious claim that only bright-blue backpacked 1T2's roamed about the surface world - that medical students of all years walked the streets of Toronto everywhere. This led to the Great Backpack Challenge: a contest to snap candid pics of medical school backpacks everywhere in life away from the safe bosom of the Medical Sciences Building.

The contest officially ended with the New Year, a $15 lunch waiting for the victor. My friend Ruru put in a good effort snapping pictures of first and second year medical students, which provided the lowest point values. In total, she accrued 5-points.

My friend Mello was poised to steal victory away, however, having snapped numerous candid photos of dark blue CC4 backpacks (worth 10 points each). I've waited two and half months past the deadline, and these photos have not materialized - victims of Mello's inability to get them off of her mobile phone and over to me. By this point, I dare say, we must consider that she has defaulted on the challenge. You'll note that despite a vigorous description of the circumstances, Mello is not tagged in this post. That's because I am of the opinion that such a dramatic epic fail is unworthy of contributing to anyone's label count. Sorry, pung yau.

So without further adieu, I must congratulate...

the winner: RURU

...for her hard-earned victory. I know she's already got her eye on a couple bowls of udon. Hopefully she's also managed to prove that we are, indeed, everywhere.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Use that paddle; smack that ball

When Sandlot first got her BlackBerry Curve this summer - a fine example of quality Canadian engineering - I had barely played RIM's additive little mini-game, BrickBreaker. Sure, I logged the occasional round here and there on my Pearl. Having heard my sister gush in advance about how it was the best game ever, I had to have checked it out.

But when Sandlot got her Curve... well then, the game was afoot. This set off a back and forth score setting challenge that ended when Sandlot reached the unattainable heights of 10500 points. I maintained the intense level that we had been playing at for a couple of weeks, but finding the score ever out of reach, I eventually gave in and resigned myself to defeat.

I still logged a game here and there - waiting for my research supervisor, waiting for lecturers to resume, waiting for a text message to arrive, waiting for a subway to enter the station... waiting. Always the result was the same. Too little, too late. It was frustrating in its own right that the score I was aiming for was so high that it took at least 15-30 minutes (I lose track of time) of intense staring at that tiny little screen to even reach the level at which a five-digit score was indeed possible. At such a point, losses were punishing, and to start over again was a colossal investment by my already tired eyes.

Even more troubling was that I always seemed to get stuck at the same impassable level. Just shy of the score I desired, it didn't matter if I had 9 lives or 2 lives - the result was always the same. I had plateaued. So many promises had been broken over this game. A gentleman has nothing if not his word, but this game had taught me a thing or two about humility. "I'll beat you this week/this month/eventually..."

Months passed, and Sandlot had long since stopped troubling her thumbs with BrickBreaker. There was no longer anything to fight for. She had me licked. Then, one particularly extended break in one particularly slow class combined with one particularly fortuitous power up and brought me victory: 11050! I was free of my burden of defeat. The competition may resume.

Of course, I can't say this didn't trouble my rival. Thrust into psychological anguish was she, distressed that she had been dethroned and compelled to play me to defeat once more. A road, that if I have any luck, will be as arduous as my own.

So troubled was she by this turn of events that last night, Brickbreaker invaded her subconscious and crept into her dreams...

You know that level with three rows of bricks? Well I dreamt that I was playing that level, and the ball hit one of the middle bricks, and suddenly all the bricks came tumbling down! Then the level ended and it turned into this completely different game - some kind of secret level which was like a hybrid of BrickBreaker and Super Mario. It's so strange because it was so vivid.

My score just kept going up and up, and I think by the end it was at like forty-thousand. I remember thinking, "That definitely beats Andy's score." Then I woke up.

And then she woke up. Oh, the sweet smell of victory.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Can you Guess Who?

Clue, the classic murder mystery board game by Parker Brothers is iconic. Popular in its own right, Clue has also received countless references on television, in movies, and throughout Western culture. These references always take the form of the classic Clue deductive statement: "It was [person] in the [location] with the [murder weapon]." For one reason or another, pop culture has almost universally blamed the infamous Colonel Mustard.

It was Colonel Mustard in the library/dining room/study with the candlestick/candleholder/lead pipe!

Well today, amusingly enough, we had a lecturer named Dr. Mustard. I took the opportunity to shoot off an impromptu text message to a number of my friends:

It was Dr. Mustard in the kitchen with the candelabra!

Moments later, the replies began to filter in...

Yubin: Lol he is my PBL tutor hehe

J-Rock, sitting two persons down from me, turned in my direction and spelled out in audible English: "L - O - L." My quip seemed to be well taken, but then chaos ensued.

During our break, I nudged J-Rock and gestured in Mello's direction. "She doesn't get it."

Mello turned to Maximus on her right and tilted the phone in his direction. "Do you get this?"

"It was Dr. Mustard in the kitchen with the candelabra? No, I don't get it."

The phone was turned over to Yuffie. "No, I don't get it either. What is this?"

"Seriously, were did you guys grow up?" I asked, breathlessly.

"Well, I grew up in China," Maximus countered. "Or at least I was born there."

"Yeah," agreed Yuffie.

"Okay, fair enough," acknowledged J-Rock. "You should explain it to them."

"It's from the board game Clue!" I explained. "There's a character named Colonel Mustard and our lecturer's name is Dr. Mustard."

"Oh! I've played Clue!" exclaimed Mello.

"Oh my goodness... you've played it?!" retorted J-Rock. "Actually, that would have been a good thing to ask first."

Later, Kon stopped me and asked, "What's a candelabra?" He didn't get it either.

Finally, the last text message came in.

Stewie: I don't get it?

I guess when it comes to Colonel Mustard, five to two, my friends don't have a Clue. Childhood fail.

P.S. According to at least 18 people on Urban Dictionary, Colonel Mustard also refers to ejaculating into a girl's eye, causing a burning sensation which makes her wink like a colonel's monacle. /wtfux

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Why I don't want to have kids

Yesterday, I had this compulsion to Facebook-creep some of my old peers from elementary school. I swung by my elementary school's FB group as a starting point and ended up browsing through the group's photo album. Here's a lovely picture of some upstanding Christian youth several years my junior with their requisite cool-kid cancer sticks. The caption of another photo outlines their favourite cigarette break getaways:

Ahem. Yes, Druxy's in the morning. Garage next door during spare. Druxy's after school.

It's funny because I quite liked my elementary school. I liked the teachers, I liked the education, and I had a fairly good time there. Most of what I know of scripture derives not from Sunday School classes, but from my Christian school education.

Yet looking back at the same school through a stranger's lens, I'm agog at the students that I see. Looking around at what became of my classmates, I'm dismayed at their endpoints. It's funny because, I look around at my current surroundings - my peers, my friends, my social bubble - and I'm quite optimistic. The world I live in, while not devoid of the vapid, the manipulative, or the vindictive, is fairly composed.

I live at the epicenter of the Canadian or American dream. I live in a bubble with the educated, the law-abiding, and the moral. Our futures involve careers and families and self-actualization. Even those who push the boundaries of our society-approved lives do so within limits that maintain a collective sense of safety and comfort.

It's easy to forget then, that the world is pretty damn broken. That beyond our social bubble, the majority of the world does not live the dream. In our communities, huge swaths of our youth are adrift and delinquent. One of Sandlot's friends had an elementary school teacher who pessimistically declared that only six people within that class would proceed to a university-level education. Years later, through Facebook, he confirmed that only six people in his class had done so, including himself.

In our nations, discrimination and poverty continue to marginalize populations. In our world, entire countries suffer from disease, illiteracy, oppression, and widespread suffering.

The prospect of raising a kid in this world actually scares the crap out of me. How much control do we actually have over the trajectory of our children? Surrounded by crowds of unruly influence, there's no guarantee that our children won't fall in with the wrong clique. What if my kid turned out to be an amoral bully? A gothic, high-school drop-out druggie? A promiscuous douchebag?

It's a serious responsibility to bear. It's true that I have, for most of my life, pictured myself with Andy Jr.'s in the future. But my pessimistic recognition of the world beyond my insulated borders sometimes makes me question this prediction. After all, you're committing to bring into the world a person who will live in it for a lifetime - and what if he/she comes out wrong?

The funny thing about high school and university is that a lot of the people you know are already on the trajectory that they will follow for the rest of their lives. The punks discover their punkitude. The bullies are set in their bravado. The achievers are working hard. For the most part, the people that I befriended seriously have remained fairly normal throughout. The potheads and troublemakers existed, but I managed to largely avoid interacting with them.

Elementary school, being so far back in time, leaves a lot more open. The dorky kids you made fun of often pull their coolness together in high school and become high-functioners. The innocent kids that we all were diverge into the variety of personas that we will carry into the future.

So in my Facebook stalking, I decided to creep up my best friend from Grade 6. He was a pretty fun guy, with a bit of a strange family. In Grades 7 and 8, he really let himself go downhill - socially and academically. By the end of Grade 8, he received an ultimatum - get his act together, or find another school. He also happened to be the only friend I had in elementary school who lived in my neighbourhood.

As things turned out, I decided to attend high school at my local public school as a number of my siblings had done. My friend also decided to switch over to public school, but for different reasons. We reconnected when we got there, being each other's familiar contact, but he quickly slipped in with the skater punk crowd - listening to heavy metal, brandishing an aloof disrespect for authority and daring sense of humour, and disregarding his studies.

Today, my friend has an exciting career as a grocery clerk.

Meanwhile, while still on my elementary school's alumni page, I took a scan through the wall for any names I recognized. I found one. Sam was in my year, and he was a bit of a troublemaker, though overall not an awful person. He got himself expelled by kicking a hole in the drywall in a fit of rage. Here he posted a comment regarding the principals at the time of the high school and elementary school branches, respectively:

Yes, I think that was just you. Kids are pretty scary. Adults can be equally messed up. Crazies are everywhere. Maybe I'll pass on this child-rearing exercise.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

State of the Confederation

We're back for another politics mini-update. I know that when it comes to politics, it's not just Sandlot and Kushima who have the attention span of gerbils, so I'll try to keep things fast and furious. I'll also go light on the links for the sake of Mello and J-Rock. So, without further ado:

What's going on with the state of Confederation?

# 1 - The Prime Minister's New Groove Budget

Harper's returned to his conservative roots with a 2010 budget that slashes federal funding to government programs and civil service, freezes foreign-aid, eases environmental controls, and espouses corporate tax cuts. It's the kind of budget that will leave us with a small-g government in the future - under-resourced and incapable of undertaking any ambitious endeavours or responding to emerging crises.

# 2 - No Election for Old Men

Despite the outrage that Liberals are feeling over this budget, there will almost certainly be no election. By unjustifiably proroguing government in January, Stephen Harper not only wiped away the political woes of having to respond to his actions on Afghanistan torture, but also positioned his budget release to coincide with the end of the Olympics. With national sentiment at an all-time high, it's likely one of the worst times for the opposition to go into an election to try and dethrone the government. Furthermore, Ignatieff has no viably alternative plan to tote.

What this comes down to is a budget that boils in the blood of Liberals, but that they will tacitly approve by not showing up to vote on it.

# 3 - City Politic Sound Bites

Who is Rocco Rossi? Other than being one of the leading mayoral candidates for the city of Toronto, I had no idea until yesterday. However, he's managed to make a mark on my map for his stance on challenging unions and privatizing the TTC. I haven't had anything a politician said resonate with me as much as the following statement in a long time:

The problem isn’t a sleeping TTC worker in a booth. It’s the fact that in the 21st century there is a worker in the booth collecting paper tickets. We have the world’s best 1970s transit system. The problem is, it’s 2010.

However, with plans to put a freeze on the planned Transity City additions, which are mostly being funded by the provincial and federal levels of government anyway, I still have my doubts about this fellow. I like how you talk smack of the TTC though, sir.

Conclusions - State of the Confederation

Harper has released a crippling budget at a time when Canadians are euphoric off the exhaust fumes of the Olympics, leaving a weak and anemic government. Strong on corporate incentives and weak government programs, Finance Minister Flaherty has described Canada as being "open for business."

Meanwhile, the Liberal opposition is agreeably weak. With no alternative ideas of their own to resonate with the Canadian public, they're happy to disagree in principle and agree in the practical.

Finally, even though I don't live in Toronto, my ears delighted with a politician finally recognizing the TTC for what it is: The world's best 1970s transit system. Amen, brother. You're preaching to the converted.

Friday, March 5, 2010

When the love is gone

Remember when you first fell in love - how shiny everything seemed? How new? Remember how proud you were? How you flaunted your love and bragged to all your friends? Then things changed, and your eyes began to wander. When the love is gone... move on.

Somebody call a geriatrician, because two human years equal fourteen dog years, which equal a lifetime in computer years. I hate technology.

Once upon a time, I bought a shiny new laptop and it was glorious. Dual core processors packing a dedicated graphics card - I ripped through gaming in a way that my shoddy little Hewlett-Packard made ex never could. Everything worked perfectly - the built-in DVD burner, integrated Bluetooth support, fingerprint log-in...

Now this decrepit old thing slugs along. The microphone jack seems dysfunctional. The DVD burner has long been temperamental. The touchpad exploded and died (almost taking my computer with it). Now, Bluetooth support is crapping out with reliable voice support acting spotty at best.

At first, I thought it was just the Bluetooth headset itself - an easy fix. However, after swapping in a different set to test, I still seem audible to parties on the other side only fifty percent of the time. Given that the microphone jack is also not functioning, I'm left with the last functioning solution for this gradually dismembered technological device - a USB microphone.

However, because I'd like it to have the wireless capacity of my current Bluetooth, I'm left with few options. FutureShop only carries one wireless USB headset, which on carries 20/39 ratings at 1/5 stars.

The lovely device comes with such effusive reviews as this:

First, the sound can get really bottom out. Sometimes my Skype friends sound like gurgly lagoon monsters, hungry and ready to feed. I can't hear the mid or high ranges of their voices. And the connection seems unstable, causing pops and drop-outs. So I take it back, lagoon monsters may be more coherent. Initially I thought this was a Skype problem but I plugged in my wired headset and I could hear them clearly.

I'm at wits end here. My computer, only two years in, seems to have more medical problems than Abe Simpson, with few clinically proven interventions to offer. Medic!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The young and the innocent

So, there's been a thread on Facebook planning lunch for Stewie's birthday. Yubin and two other gals (labeled Wonger and Wanger) are poised to miss it. Stewie being Stewie made a quip about making up for the missed lunch with a late night "bonding session."

Wonger and Wanger obviously missed the raunchy implications therewithin (or else have feelings about Stewie that were previously unprofessed). Wonger even included a flirtatious wink in her reply.

Meanwhile, Stewie and J-Rock, the resident thirteen-year-old males in our group, had to exercise all their willpower to stay out of the commenting fray and stop themselves from further embarrassing Wonger and Wanger by dragging them through the gutter. What gentlemen.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Driving me bananas!

I know that driving in Ontario is by no means on anyone's "worst driving in the world" list, but I still get pretty darn frustrated by the ridiculous driving I have to put up with every day. In fact, in the 15 minute car ride from the subway station to my house, I observed no less than three major and wholly upsetting traffic infractions. Let's recap...

First up, we have Intersection # 1. At this intersection, crossing straight across the intersection in this direction is verboten between 4 and 6 PM. This means you either need to turn left (usually cutting through a plaza to get to the other side) or right. Occasionally, police will ticket the rule-breakers going straight, but these rebels don't get their just desserts very often.

The street is one lane except at the very mouth where a car both going left and right can be accommodated. Stopped at a red light behind a bus and two cars, the yellow car decided to make the whole damn road two lanes by driving through the opposing lane. However, not being able to make it all the way to the intersection, he somehow plugged himself back into the lane ahead of the other two cars and behind the bus.

Summary: The yellow car skipped into opposing traffic so that he could sneak himself in ahead of the cars in front of him.

What should have happened: The car behind the bus should have closed the gap in front of it, leaving the yellow car stuck in the opposing lane to suffer a tragic MVA at the hands of opposing traffic when the light turned green - or at least the ire of other drivers.

Past Intersection # 1, we made a left turn and then turned right into Plaza A (that big pile of dirt is actually a McDonald's now). This is easiest and most legal way to bypass the "no straight through" rule of Intersection # 1. Proceeding straight, we were cut off by the red car making a left turn.

You may not know this about me, but I'm religious about my right of way. Obviously, the straight-going individual has right of way over the turning one (unless there's a stop sign or traffic light - there was not). The red car was driven by what appeared to be a seventeen-year-old white boy, who upon being honked, glared and honked back.

Summary: Seventeen-year old delinquent made a left turn against right of way and gave punkish attitude back.

What should have happened: In a perfect world, I would be driving a monster truck or a vehicle equipped with rocket launchers. That would send that irreverent little arse crying back to his mama... in a tin can.

Leaving Intersection # 1 behind, we arrived at Intersection # 2. Intersection # 2 is the end of a two-lane road. You can see the arrows marking that the left lane turns left and the right lane turns right. Now 90% of people I observe (including on many occasions my own parents) make a turn from the left lane and swing directly into the right lane (taking two lanes in one turn). This breaking of protocol (you're supposed to make left turns into the leftmost lane and right turns into the rightmost lane) irks me a great deal, but is fairly common.

However, today we happily made our left turn into the leftmost lane. I looked to the side to see the red car (a different one from the previous diagram) swinging out to our side and landing in the rightmost lane. What the heck? Basically, this car either made the turn from the right lane (most likely) or started behind us and swung out so fast that they finished the turn at the same time at us. Seriously, wtfux.

Summary: Left turn made out of the right-turn lane.

What should have happened: Spontaneous combustion of the offending vehicle.

In conclusion, I hate you belligerent drivers who have no regard for traffic law. I hate you even more when you act like you are in the right and most of all when you have audacity to honk back. In the future, I will join the police academy and become a traffic cop just so that I can troll the streets and impound all your fucking cars. Either that or I'll take over the world and drive around in a monster truck version of the Batmobile armed with guided missiles.

Hello, Mr. Shoddy Driver. Would you like to be squashed today or blown to smithereens? Kthx.

P.S. Just a disclaimer: I do not suffer from road rage IRL.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A writer between a rock and a hard place

So today, I was singing talking to my lovely girlfriend Sandlot (mush patrol alert!) about how I have a bad case of writer's block and didn't know what to write on my blog anymore. She responded with something along the lines of, "Really? I'll write it for you then. I'll dictate. You just type." I, feeling particularly compliant, agreed. This was the effervescently brilliant result:

Hello friends,

This is Andy. Umm... (Did you just write my "um"?) This is hard. I don't think I can do it.

That's what she said.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's wet outside

Walking down the street, a discussion of romantic prospects was taking place:

Andy: You think Mello should date anyone.

J-Rock: That's not true, I only suggested three people - A, B, and C.

Andy: But B's not Honger.

Mello: That's okay... he's hot!

Andy: Whoa.

J-Rock: You didn't know this? Mello pretty much gets soaked every time she sees him. If you put a potted plant between her feet, it would stay watered for life.

Oh dear...